Adweek’s week-long look at each broadcast network’s new fall shows kicks off today with NBC, which has finished No. 1 in adults ages 18-49 for the past two seasons. While the network’s most recent demo victory was due in large part to the continued strength of Sunday Night Football and The Voice (as well as the Super Bowl, which moves to CBS this season), NBC's recent development cycles, particularly on the comedy side, have been barren. In May, the network renewed just one of its new shows from 2014-2015, The Mysteries of Laura, while canceling all of its comedies except for Undateable, which it will air live for the entire season.
Counting on Sunday Night Football to propel it through fall, NBC saved some of its most intriguing shows for midseason, including Hot and Bothered, its Eva Longoria comedy, which goes behind the scenes of a telenovela, and drama Shades of Blue, starring Jennifer Lopez. (Its other big midseason series, a revival of ‘90s sitcom Coach, with Craig T. Nelson reprising his role, was abruptly canceled late last month.)
The network's six new fall shows, meanwhile, are mostly still works in progress. Just a week before some of them are set to debut, NBC has a final version of just two series ready to go: Blindspot, which is also its strongest freshman show, and Heroes Reborn, which was made available just two days ago. For the other shows, we’ll rely on the prior versions of the pilots (some shows have undergone recasting or other tweaks since they were picked up in May), which is all that the network has provided to press and buyers, as we look at each new series and decide which are worth your attention and ad budgets.
And while a pilot isn’t always the best way to judge a show’s ultimate potential, it’s often the only episode that audiences watch before deciding whether to stick around or cut bait, especially given all the other new and returning shows also fighting for attention. With that in mind, here are NBC’s fall shows, ranked from least promising to most promising.